The 10 Levels of Artist Compensation…

by  paul

Every day, we discuss issues related to artist earnings and compensation. But how would you rate yourself on the compensation scale, and where would you ultimately like to land?  Here are ten different levels of artist accomplishment – from the most wealthy to the most income-challenged.

Artist Royalty.

I never have to work another day in my life, thanks to my royalties and other music-related revenues.  If I go on tour or make new music, it’s because I want to.  I can live a fairly outrageous, lavish lifestyle, and enjoy this healthy stream of income for the rest of my life.

Royalty with Responsibilities.

I never have to work another day in my life, thanks to my royalties, touring receipts, and other music-related revenues.  However, it could run out: although I can live quite comfortably, I have some budget considerations and long-term financial planning to consider.

Actively Wealthy.

I am making a very substantial amount of money from my music, but I cannot retire.  I tour, release albums, and write songs, not only because I want to but because – frankly – I have to.

The Middle-Class Musician.

I am a middle–class musician, producer, or other music-related professional who makes a decent, livable wage that supports not only myself, but my family as well.  I can put some money into long-term investments, like retirement funds, property, etc., and can get a kid or two through college.

Surviving, thank you very much.

I’m a working musician, producer, or other music-related professional, and making a decent, livable wage that barely supports myself.  Or, I can cover the costs of a team, touring expenses, and my own expenses, but not much else.

Operating at a loss.

I am not quite breaking even, but staging full tours, creating serious recordings, and hiring others to help manage things like digital distribution, tour management, and social networking.

In the game.

I am making the equivalent of a minimum wage salary and surviving off of my music.

Part-time, looking for full-time.

I make a modest amount of money from my music, but I must work another job at least part-time to survive.

Hobbyist.

I make little to no money from my music, and rely entirely on other sources of income.  I may not be trying to generate income from my music, but still face some expenses related to this hobby.

 

 Burnt.

I’ve unfortunately given up, due to financial challenges related to making music.  I’d blame this partly on piracy, and the generally low level of compensation from most performance outlets.  I’ve found another profession, or am looking for another profession.

 

 

 

I am not quite breaking even, but staging full tours, creating serious recordings, and hiring others to help manage things like digital distribution, tour management, and social networking.

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